April 30, 2004 Subject:
It's the editing
Half the time, I don't know what I'm looking at. But I never want to look away.
Otherwise banal footage is elevated out of pointlessness by covering it with lattices, numbers, colors, dots, and boxes, or reproducing the images so many times in smaller and smaller sizes that the film itself becomes indiscernable from a thicket of dots and lines. Splashes of color swirl ambiently as jellyfish unforgettably swim southwest.
Any other time, I would say that these films were over-edited, but editing is the whole point here. The first one uses, briefly, footage of a Saturn V lifting off, and then focuses on people dancing for the remaining six or so minutes. The second wraps itself in unfolding curvilinear forms that resemble hands and birds, and the third uses streaks of color created by a swirling camera as a canvas on which to paint natural landscapes of mountains and sunsets. The editing is the form.
Am I allowed to say these are too long? After all, that is the form techno often chooses, length over strength. For all the complexity on screen here, the films (which are all really one) nevertheless can become boring, or at least repetitive. But this is a flaw so minor I'm happy to forgive it.
Watch these and decide for yourself. They're beautiful examples of how one may transfer the musical aesthetic of techno into the visible realm. Impressive all around.